One reason healthy gum tissue might bleed during brushing is if you are using a hard bristle toothbrush and exerting more pressure than necessary. Good oral hygiene can be achieved using a soft bristle toothbrush and even, moderate brushing. Many patients believe they need to scrub their teeth to keep them free from plaque and looking their best, but they are doing more harm than good.
If your gums are bleeding without provocation, you need to see your family dentist. You could be experiencing one of the early signs of gingivitis, a form of gum disease. In addition to bleeding gums, other symptoms include:
Red, swollen gingiva – Healthy gum tissue is pink and firm.
Bad breath – If you eat onions or garlic you might expect bad breath, but if you are experiencing chronic bad breath, this may be a sign of infection.
Teeth appear to be pulling away from gums or feel loose – You need to see your dentist right away. These symptoms are more in line with periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease. Failure to act quickly can result in tooth loss.
If you are experiencing early symptoms, your dentist will explain what may be going on … very often neglect or ineffective brushing and flossing are to blame. One solution is to invest in an electronic toothbrush. There are several advantages over a manual toothbrush:
The brush head provides extremely rapid movement to clean adequately; simply guide the toothbrush to include the front, back, and tops of all teeth. Make sure to brush gum tissue as well to keep it stimulated. Let the brush do all the work – don’t add extra pressure.
Most electronic toothbrushes come equipped with some type of timer that signals when you have brushed the recommended two minutes.
Make sure you use a fluoridated toothpaste. If you are experiencing symptoms of gum disease, your dental provider may recommend an oral rinse to expedite healing. Other treatments such as root planing and scaling (deep dental cleaning) may be required.
Daily flossing is important. Most patients don’t realize that the toothbrush only reaches about two thirds of the surface of teeth; we rely on dental floss to remove what our toothbrush has missed.
Bleeding gums are not to be ignored; make sure you are doing everything possible to maintain good oral hygiene.
If it’s time to schedule your next dental exam and cleaning, contact our team at A Smile Above today.